The legal team for pro-life doctor Jaques de Vos have rejected a claim by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HCPSA) that they had no choice but to withdraw charges against him last week after a woman who allegedly lodged a complaint of unprofessional conduct against him three years ago no longer wished to proceed with the matter.
“The so called complainant never submitted a complaint. Lt Col Ismail (Intern curator) and Lt Col Van Wyk (Obs/Gyn) refused to sign him off. Then they referred to HPCSA intern committee, who referred to Prelim Investigation Committee who referred to Disciplinary Committee. The real complainant never was the young lady.
“Its just an easy way out, as if she made an about-turn,” said Martus de Wet, attorney for the former military hospital medical intern whose career has been put on hold since he was suspended in June 2017 and subsequently charged with unprofessional conduct because of his pro-life views.
In a statement to media last week, HPCSA spokesperson Priscilla Sekhonyana reportedly said the council had received an affidavit from a woman who said she no longer wished to proceed with a complaint she had lodged against De Vos three years ago for advising her that the unborn baby she wanted to abort was a human being.
De Wet told Gateway News yesterday that the legal team had not yet had a response from the disciplinary hearing committee to their request for a verdict — and not just a withdrawal of the case — as De Vos had pleaded not-guilty and had submitted uncontested expert evidence in support of his professional conduct.
“He must be acquitted after which he can sue for damages,” said De Wet.
It also transpires that although De Vos no longer faces any disciplinary charges his internship at 2 Military Hospital in Cape Town has still not been signed off. Asked whether this meant he was still unable to work as a doctor, De Wet said: “We are trying to see if there is a way that he can continue without the hospital’s official signing-off, otherwise compelling them to sign him off.”